Pennsvylania federal law makes it illegal to intimidate a witness or interfere with their cooperation or testimony. Just the attempt to stop a witness from testifying or change their testimony, even if it does not succeed, is a violation of the law.
It is against the law to:
- Bribe a witness
- Prevent a witness from appearing at a court proceeding
- Persuade a witness to change their testimony
- Threaten a witness with violence if they testify
- Threaten to harm a witness’s family if they testify
- Threaten to destroy a witness’s home or belongings if they testify
- Threaten a member of a witness’s family
If you have been charged with witness tampering or intimidation – or you believe that federal investigators are looking into you – it’s best to consult with an experienced Pittsburgh-area federal attorney who can explain how federal cases work, guide you through the legal options available, and begin reviewing the evidence to best defend you.
Penalties For Witness Tampering in Pennsylvania
Under U.S. Code Title 18, Section 1512, threatening a witness with physical force is punished with up to 10 years in a federal prison. Actually using physical force or attempting to use physical force is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. You may face additional penalties depending on the unique circumstances of your legal situation, so it’s best to consult with an attorney.
If convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record, which will make finding a job, maintaining custody of any dependents, renting a home, or going about your normal daily life difficult or impossible. Do not delay in protecting your rights and your future.